Painting Withdrawal Symptoms and Step 1 to Becoming an Artist / Horsewoman


My car has been in the shop for a whole week now.  I have borrowed my teen aged daughter's car but I've had to fit my studio time in between her schedule and my sons' schedule and so I have felt the 'squeeze' this week.  Little to no studio time means painting withdrawal begins to set in.   I never willingly stop painting... I only stop painting when I am forced to not paint by some unforeseeable event beyond my control- like car trouble! 

I have been on a mission ever since I began painting in 2004 to make up for lost time by painting obsessively.   Just like with other drugs,  you build up this tolerance for painting and if forced to stop cold turkey strange symptoms begin to ooze out.   Its like the creativity that was used to having this mainline outlet has no where to go so it bubbles out in all sorts of strange ways.   One way to bubble out is to see 'paintings' all around me... a cluster of queen Anne's lace in the ditch, thistle against a clear blue sky, a flag pole in the window reflection at the restaurant, the way the shadows hit my husbands face as he is trying to carry on a serious discussion with me.  :)  

What is happening is I ~see~ things differently.  No, I am not hallucinating.  I am taking the first step to being an artist by seeing the things around me in a new way. 

I think we all did this as kids.  Watch kids for just a few minutes and you'll see them explore the world around them in wonder.  The first step to being an artist is to tap into that wonder of the world around you.  See how the Queen Anne's Lace looks like its dancing in the breeze with the cornflowers... see how a common weed can look beautiful and striking against a clear sky... see how the flag flapping in the wind of a storm thru the reflection of a window can evoke feelings of vulnerability.   

Okay so how does all of this relate to horses?  If you've read this blog for any amount of time you know everything in my world just about can relate back to horses.  I did some ground work with one of my new rescues.  I found an area in which he has some fear and apprehension.  What I pat myself on the back for is seeing not only his apprehension but also his soft and kind eye.  He was scared but by nature is kind.  This horse is going to be fun.  I love this horse already because I can see tings in him-- his expression, his willingness thru the confusion... I can see potential!  Beauty even!!  I can be patient with him.  That is not hard. 

I have heard the term 'intuitive painter' and think it applies to what I like to do when I am painting 'in the zone'.  With this horse I feel his apprehension and intuitively feel this satisfaction of knowing I can work with this horse!  All I have to do is watch him and ~see~ what he is telling me.  Look at him in a new way.  I can do that.  

One of the things I love about these rescue horses is they tell you their history.  They have come to me with next to no history.  Slowly and surely their story is revealed as far as how they've been treated and where they've been.  I may not know the details but I know enough to go from here.  It is all very much like a painting that just seems to develop as you go along.  You can't force things along-- you have to be okay with letting it reveal to you what it needs and where it is headed. 

So then, if the first step to being an artist / horsewoman is to ~see~ , the second step must be to ~listen~. 

Thanks for stopping by!
Sue Steiner
animal artist
0